Every time a horse lies down in a sunlit field
an island goes up off the coast of Alaska, or Peru,
or in the middle of a lake south of Stockholm.
Every time a whale is born albino
a man doesn’t die of liver failure and every time
it rains at sea a child speaks first words.
Every time you watch the football
in your alcoholic father’s flat
on his little settee that unfolds into a bed
in case you ever wanted to stay
a forest disappears and a doorbell rings.
Every time the ref blows the whistle
and your father boils the kettle and somewhere
islands are going up and oil rigs just watching.
Joe Carrick-Varty is a British-born Irish poet living in London. He is the founder of the online poetry magazine bath magg. His debut pamphlet Somewhere Far (The Poetry Business) won the 2018 New Poets Prize.
This article appears in the 29 Jan 2020 issue of the New Statesman, Over and out